The evolution of  long-term strategic partnerships   for the Healthcare industry

Trends in healthcare management

By Roger Weems,
Vice President and Lead Partner, North America

 

Long-term strategic partnerships are not a new concept but their relevance to the healthcare industry is increasing with the ongoing need for comprehensive transformation across the health continuum. Healthcare leaders are looking for an increased level of innovation, commitment, and accountability. Vendors are responding by broadening their focus beyond products, better understanding the industry challenges, and serving the customers’ business and clinical needs in developing long-term strategic partnerships.

Finding accountable delivery partners to transform care

 

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The nature of partnerships is evolving as healthcare organisations grapple with how to transform into a value-driven care model. Traditional models aim to provide long-term predictable cost but there is an increased focus on continuous performance improvement and shared accountability towards outcomes.

 

I am pleased that healthcare leaders and their teams are embracing new concepts such as ‘design thinking’ and ‘co-innovation’ as these are instrumental in developing more tailored and holistic solutions.

These deeper partnerships provide more insights into their current and rapidly changing needs so that they can achieve large-scale and sustainable transformation. This also allows industry partners to develop more effective and sustainable solutions to support their needs.

 

Each partnership is unique as it must meet the needs of the hospital network or healthcare system, their patients, and their community as well as align with the mission of the ‘supplier.’ There must be a shared interest and dedication to the vision to ensure a strong alignment over a longer period of time as well as a willingness to change if circumstances dictate a change is needed.

Each partnership is unique as it must meet the needs of the hospital network or healthcare system, their patients, and their community as well as align with the mission of the supplier.

The foundation of our partnership strategy includes:

  • A focus on design thinking and a collaborative approach to new challenges, with co-innovation and co-creation of solutions.
  • An ongoing commitment to continuous performance improvement and shared risk.
  • Attention to the patient experience and improving care delivery for the community.

 

Originally the base for most partnerships was long-term equipment planning, procurement, and management but nowadays there are many additional facets which are addressed. These include strategic guidance and design for a single hospital or healthcare network, improving access to care across the care network, IT strategy, and shared accountability for outcomes and financial risk.

 

Philips recently announced a long-term strategic partnership with Westchester Medical Centre Health Network, providing equipment, medical and information technology optimisation services, clinical education, and operational consulting services. But what is important about this relationship is its collaborative nature - we have a shared vision of redefining how quality patient care will be delivered, within and beyond the hospital walls.

 

Philips has other such partnerships in the US, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Each is unique yet many of these organisations are reducing technology spend while improving clinical quality and access to care as well as improving the patient experience.

 

This partnership evolution is leading to extraordinary levels of collaboration and trust, as well as innovation and transformation, which is resulting in improved patient care at a lower cost which is the ultimate goal both healthcare organisations and industry partners should be pushing toward.